Archive for June 2017

Mini Cooper S Countryman

Overview

In an SUV-hungry market, this Mini looks as the right product at the right time.

The the new generation Countryman is the most spacious Mini offered and marks an important step in expanding the Mini model family.

With the All4, all-wheel driving system, that automatically delivers power to the wheels, the Countyman is a more adaptive vehicle to drive in winter on icy Canadian roads.So, a product, with good chances of success in the premium compact segment.

The design is beautiful. and when I look at the vehicle and its proportions, (which I enjoyed so much) it looks attractive and dynamic.

Not surprisingly, The Countryman is the best-selling Mini in Canada. The all-wheel-drive, four-door Countryman is offered in Cooper S form as well as a high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) model. Both are powered by 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid version will follow, which is a first for Mini.

Driving Impressions

We tested the Cooper S version with 181 horsepower with the optional six-speed manumatic. The Countryman is the first model in the Mini range with four doors and a wide-opening rear lid. With the standard All4 all-wheel-drive system, the engine’s power is distributed seamlessly between the front and rear axles by an electromagnetic centre differential. The All4 system’s control electronics are integrated directly into the management unit of the Dynamic Stability Control system.

The go-cart like driving characteristics of the essential Mini do not exactly exist in this bigger and heavier model, yet it has a dynamic, sporty driving.

The interior has the typical Mini ambiance with toggle switches and the giant, round central display. The “very vertical” A-pillar, a Mini feature helps for a very good forward vision and headroom. The over-years perfected “i-drive” system to navigate the infotainment menus is doubtlessly a great contribution from BMW, the mother company. The seats are comfortable. Also here, you feel the hard, yet ergonomic shells of the German approach is telling about how to build high-quality seating. Sliding and folding rear seats, a high roofline and especially adjustable trunk floor make this vehicle a serious and highly functional compact SUV.

With three drive modes (Sport, Mid and Green) the setups are similar to BMW and help to customize your driving experience.

 

Conclusion

Once peoples’ car with a character, the Mini as we know today is not a cheap alternative for the masses. Our fully loaded test vehicle has a MSRP of almost 45 grands, including options worth 13 grand. BMW positioned Mini as a premium brand. As my daughter, who is a very experienced driver with a lot of BMW and Mini experience calls, “Mini is a cheaper BMW” which is never a negative definition.

Base MSRP: $31,990

Optional Equipment:

Essentials Package: $1,450

(Panorama sunroof, heated front seats, centre armrest In Rear, Front Fog Lights, Adjustable Rear Seats

Loaded Package: $1,800

(Automatic Trunk, Comfort access, Auto dimming interior mirror, electric sets with driver memory, storage compartment package, automatic climate control)

LED Lights Package: $1,400

(LED foglights & headlights)

Wired Navigation Package: $1,000

(On-board navigaiton, MINI Connected XL, Wired Package)

Style Package: $650

(MINI Your sport leather steering wheel, Chrome line Interior, Chrome Line Exterior, Interior Trim Piano Black)

Cargo Package: $500

(Through loading system, storage compartment package)

Stand Alone Options:

Leather Chester: $2,250

Automatic Transmission: $1,500

Harman Kardon Sound system: $750

Mini All4 Exterior Styling: $500

Mini yours Interior Style Piano Black Illuminated: $250

Mini Head-Up Display: $750

Metallic Paint: $500

Park Distance Control, rear: $500

Test Drivers: Varol McKars, Basak Mc Kars, Burak McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, , Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by BMW Group Canada

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

http://www.mini.ca

All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website (autoandroad.com) are permitted.

2017 Range Rover Evoque HSE Dynamic: Forever Young

Introduction to Land Rover Driving Club: The compact and urban Evoque

No manufacturer can afford to be absent in the red-hot luxury compact crossover segment neither in Europe, nor in North America. Land Rover’s compact-sized Range Rover Evoque does perfectly fill this market segment even if it is slightly coming to ages. On the market since 2011, the Evoque debuted as a two-door vehicle first. With the following four-door version, the most compact Range could utilize the market potential more effectively.

In my humble, subjective opinion, it is one of the most beautiful compact SUV’s on the market. We tested the Si4 2.0L HSE Dynamic version with 5-Door and obviously All-Wheel-Drive.This is the second model variant after the range-topping autobiography version (which we tested earlier)

The power source is a Ford-based 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 240 horsepower and an impressive 340 pound-feet of torque, which is available at as low as 1,750 rpm. Mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive, it delivers a smooth yet powerful ride and very firm roadholding. This is still a bit short compared to similar SUV’s on the market. Such as: — the 300-hp BMW X3 xDrive 35i ($48,900), 340-hp Porsche Macan S ($54,300), the 354-hp Audi SQ5 ($57,400), 355-hp Mercedes GLA 45 AMG ($50,500). Considering the fact that the Tata-owned JLR Group is getting armed for a fiercer competition with the Germans, apparently more horses must be called for duty.

Not exactly so: The plus side for the Evoque is the its light weight architecture south of 1,670 kilograms, thanks to high-strength steels, aluminum hood and roof panels, polymer and composite front fenders and tailgate and more. You drive  a quick, dynamic vehicle and this is usually what matters at the end of the day.

The Evoque can reward you for your environmentally responsible driving style.

The Evoque can reward you for your environmentally responsible driving style.

Some degree of German technology is at work: The smoothly shifting nine-speed ZF automatic transmission with an adaptive shift program to accommodate different driving styles successfully prevents any feeling of lack of performance.

After a week of week of mixed highway and suburban commuting, my average consumption was 11,6 liters. Very acceptable for this type of vehicle.

Conclusion

Although a replacement is not very far, the almost timelessly beautiful design and the solid Land Rover technology make Evoque a wise choice in the crowded luxury, compact SUV segment.

The Specifications

Type of vehicle All-wheel drive SUV
Power 2.0, four-cylinder-gasoline-turbo engine, 240 hp with 250 lb-ft of torque
Transmission Nine-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $61,190 / $76,240
Destination charge $1,600
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km)  city, highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors,  Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Firenze Red Metallic Paint: $650, Sirius Satellite Radio: $450, Meridian Sound System: $1,100, Black Pack: $2,300, Head-up display: $1,300, Heated Windscreen: $400, Adaptive LED Headlamps + Signature DRL: $1,700, Adaptive Cruise Control: $1,500, Luxury Seating Pack: $1,750, Driver, Assistance Pack: $2,300,  Destination & Delivery: $1,600

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

http://www.landrover.ca

All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website (autoandroad.com) are allowed.

Lincoln MKX 2.7T. A Luxury Brand Beyond Ford

A View at Lincoln

Based on the capable and popular Ford Edge, the Lincoln MKX was one of the most-enjoyable luxury SUVs this year. since the Edge itself is based on the mature and reliable Fusion platform, it is no mistake to state that the MKX has a solid foundation.

Realistically, we should not expect a dedicated platform for any Lincoln model in a foreseeable feature. to do that, Lincoln has to prove itself as a major and global luxury player which is probably at least two model generations away.

Or test vehicle was fully loaded and had options worth of $14,575 thus catapulting the total price to almost 70 Grand (to $68,575, to be exact). Lincoln’s new pricing policy shows courage and self-confidence.

Driving Impressions

As the Blue Ovals put great efforts to establish Lincoln as their only luxury brands, MKX’s success is vitally important. The first impressions were a very quiet interior, well-crafted and refined, with high-tech features. Our test vehicle had the 335-hp, 2.7-liter turbo V6 under the hood. This was a smooth engine delivering an effortless thrust and joy of driving.  The handling was sporty and I thought that Lincoln is looking at sporty, premium German brands and got some inspiration. Tall drivers, like my son found the push-button shifter a bit problematic. He says the buttons are too away when you move your seat rearward for a comfortable legroom. The shift dial is a Lincoln feature, and even if it is not to everybody’s taste it will probably remain.The quiet cabin, with abundant wood, brushed metal, and leather surfaces gives you sufficient level of differentiation from a Ford Edge and helps to justify the price difference of about 20 Grands. Convenience and safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and cross-traffic alert.

 

As the infotainment system, Synch-3 replaces MylincolnTouch which is much easier to use.

I myself love the high seating position and the big doors which facilitate entry and exit comfortable.

The exterior design is its own character. Subjectively speaking, I could not make sure which of the cousins is more attractive when it comes to exterior design. Edge or the MKX?

Fuel Consumption

Everything comes at a price. This fully-loaded car with AWD generated an average consumption of 13.9 liters after a mixed mode of driving.

Conclusion

Having tested several Lincolns in the last couple of years, I can say Ford takes Lincoln much more serious to establish Lincoln as a luxury brand with its own identity. And more efforts seem to be necessary on the side of exterior design. Again, subjectively speaking.

The Specifications
Type of vehicle All-whell midsize SUV-CUV
Power 2.7L, V6-cylinder GTDI Ecoboost engine,
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $52.100 / $68,575
Destination charge $1,900
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km) 14.4 city, 10.3 highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors, Easy Fuel capless fuel filler, Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Cargo Utility Package: $350, Technology Package $ 1,100 (Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control, lane assist), Driver Assistance Package: $2,500, Canadian Touring Package: $2,950, Luxury Package: $5,500, Class II Trailer tow Pkg $ 500, 22-Way Power Driver Seat: $1,500, Enhanced Security Package: $75

Total options: $14,575

Destination charge: $1,900

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada via BHG Media

For the most up-to-date and more detailed information, visit:

http://www.lincolncanada.com

All rights reserved. This article cannot be copied entirely or partially without the prior written consent of the author. Links to the website (autoandroad.com) are allowed.